Vancouver Island University - Graduate Programs

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Vancouver Island University (VIU) is a public university with a main campus located in the oceanside city of Nanaimo in mid-Vancouver Island. VIU offers graduate students more than 20 programs, including a recently redesigned and technology-focused MBA program. VIU students benefit from individual attention, small class sizes and a supportive, inclusive campus culture. Professors will know you by name and offer you a learning environment that challenges and inspires you in the pursuit of your academic and career goals. Gain experience and deepen your learning with hands-on student research and creative activities, fully supported by faculty who are behind you every step of the way. Your success and learning are the top priorities for our faculty and staff. You will matter here. At VIU we respect other ways of knowing and being and are proud of our relationship with our First Nations partners in our region.

As a VIU graduate student, you can enjoy the natural beauty, mild coastal climate and abundant year-round outdoor recreation and adventure opportunities found on Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia.

Areas of Expertise

VIU offers a range of graduate-level educational opportunities including master’s degrees, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates and post-degree diplomas, offering next steps to your graduate education and career goals. Explore the options here:

As a VIU graduate student, you will find broad opportunities for experiential learning, undergraduate research, study abroad and other co-curricular activities to enhance the value of your education.

On Campus Housing

 # BedsLowestHighest
Co-ed:536 bedsLowest: $525Highest: $975

Living at VIU Residences on the Nanaimo campus means you will be steps away from your classes, campus amenities and activities, and part of a connected community of students who live, share, study and stay active together. You will join students from across Canada and around the world, each bringing unique perspectives and life experiences. Study and live in a safe, welcoming environment of tolerance and inclusion, and enjoy a wide range of activities planned by the ResLife team. If you need support and guidance, you can turn to the Community Leader for your area. Students living in VIU Residences can prepare meals in communal kitchens and purchase a flexible Meal Plan for dining on campus in two cafeterias. A Starbucks, Subway and the Student Pub offer other meal options nearby, not counting restaurants and food options in the campus neighbourhood.

Residences offers three styles of rooms, accommodating either a single student or two students sharing. Attractive, low-rise style buildings feature accommodation in either apartment or townhouse style units. The VIU Residences area includes beach volleyball and basketball courts, as well as games and activity rooms.

Incoming Students

VIU's Recruitment Officers are here to help answer your questions as you explore programs and admission requirements, and guide you through the steps to making an application. Once you've applied, we encourage you to connect with VIU's Academic Advisors, who are available to assist you with academic planning and connecting your studies to your career aspirations. They offer great resources and support to help you keep your studies on track.

Career Planning

As you plan for your graduate studies at VIU, you will find lots of support and guidance to help connect your studies to your future academic and career goals. Whether you have a strong career destination in mind, or you are exploring options, we can help. Once you are enrolled, VIU's Education Advisors can help with goal setting to connect your studies with a future career, and point you to many different supports and opportunities that will help you get there. You can also gain valuable work experience while you are a student. Last year VIU offered 668 co-op and internship opportunities to students.


As a VIU student, you are encouraged to join intramural sports teams and try out for varsity teams. VIU's Mariners varsity team sports include men's and women's basketball, volleyball, golf, and badminton. Competitive clubs include baseball, men's hockey and rugby. Mariners' varsity teams have a tradition of excellence, winning two CCAA National Championships in 2019 (women's volleyball and men's basketball) while also leading the PACWEST division with a record five team provincial championships.


West Coast graduate student life means getting active while meeting new friends in a beautiful natural environment. Through Campus Rec, you can try a wide range of outdoor activities such as surfing, skiing, climbing, kayaking, rafting, caving and hiking at a very reasonable cost. As well, join in a range of fitness classes, or drop into the gymnasium for indoor sports. Central Vancouver Island offers a year-round temperate climate and access to the natural beauty of ocean beaches, lakes, mountains and forests. On Vancouver Island, you can surf, snowboard and mountain bike, all in one day!


The VIU Students' Union offers between 40 and 50 clubs to join every year, including program-specific, activist and passion-related clubs. Students can also get involved as a Student Ambassador, on the Fun@VIU Committee, write for the Navigator student newspaper or get involved with CHLY 101.7 FM, the campus community radio station.

Information Technology

Wireless internet access is available at campus drop-in computer labs and is included in some residences. Video editing and printing rooms are available in student access labs and student e-mail accounts are available to all.


With access to facilities such as The View campus art gallery, the Malaspina Theatre, and Shq'apthut, VIU's Aboriginal Gathering Place, there's no shortage of cultural activities to take part in on campus. Feasts, cultural activities, social and recreational activities at Shq'apthut involve Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, who are welcomed by supportive staff and Indigenous Elders-in Residence. VIU's Faculty of International Education also hosts many cultural activities where students from more than 80 different countries learn about world cultures, share food, music and traditions, and take part in casual on-campus and community events.

Special Services

VIU students can access a wide range of supports and services, including learning and research assistance, disability access services, success coaching, math and writing support centres, a peer supported learning program, career services and academic counselling. Services for Aboriginal Students offers support and guidance to Indigenous students in exploring and achieving career and educational goals through their studies.

Campus Tour

Take a virtual visit to VIU's main campus in Nanaimo for a glimpse of the student experience and learning environment, and for an opportunity to explore the naturally beautiful mid Vancouver Island region. Visit to learn more.


Program advising, counselling services, financial assistance, services for students with disabilities, employment services, food services, student residences, co-operative education services, a student directory, bookstore, library and A/V services, First Nations student centre, daycare centre, parking, public transit, recreation facilities, athletics programs, student newspaper, student society, art gallery and gift shop, theatre, natural history museum, arboretum, and Japanese gardens.

Modified on November 15, 2022

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